Hello darlings! Today’s Guest Contributor is the lovely and talented, Mitzi Beach. Mitzi is an expert in downsizing ones’ home, a topic I know interests many of you. I hope you love this article as much as I did. Enjoy! (This post was updated on July 28, 2020)
Downsizing Is Essential
The timing for writing this blog could not be more perfect. You see, my husband recently moved to Ohio from Kansas. Therefore, while the realities of my own downsizing are crystal clear in my mind, I write this article for any of you considering or any of you that are in the process downsizing. I want to give you a huge pat on the back for doing this challenging task right now. And for you, dear friends, who are procrastinating doing your own downsizing, please read on to know why doing it now is utterly essential.
10 Reasons To Downsize Right Now
1. Life Will Change, Be Ready!
When my husband and I completely restored a 1930s home in 2004, it was to be our “aging in place” forever home. We never, ever, expected his major cancer diagnosis to alter our well-laid-out plans. Although we had already downsized from our family home of over 30 years, oh boy, did we still have way too much stuff to deal with for our next major relocation.
2. Your Children Will Kiss Your Feet After Your Passing
I know it’s a bit of dark humor, but trust me when I say your children will be grateful you thought of them with such high regard. They will be spared from going through your myriad of possessions after your passing. You will give them a huge gift of loving consideration that keeps them from this daunting task after you are gone.
3. Your Home’s Downsizing Is Like a Body Cleanse, Eliminating Your Home of Its Toxins
By downsizing and eliminating your excess possessions, your house will be “cleansed”. Just like when we do a body detox, you will likely experience more energy after. This is due to your home visually looking better to you. Did you know there is actually such a thing as visual clutter? Excess of anything, even clutter, causes stress and robs precious energy from us. All the more reason to cleanse your home of unneeded stuff!
4. Do Not Avoid Doing a Complete Downsizing by Renting a Storage Unit. This Is Cheating Unless You Are in Transition
Renting a storage unit is cheating, unless you are in a transition period. Trust me, we learned this the hard way. We lived in an apartment while our former 1930s home was going through a major restoration. We rented several storage units to aid us in keeping our excess things. However, the agony of going through so much stuff after we moved was one of the most depressing times I can remember.
5. To Live a More Fulfilling Happier Life, Give Your Excess or Unused Things Away to Those Who Really Need Them
Another absolute truth, more joy is realized from giving than by receiving, always. Some downsizers have garage or estate sales, or sell online. I do not judge this endeavor in any way but for me, I gave, gave, and gave to my friends, to my family, to the DAV, and to a dear friend supporting an orphanage in Africa. And you know what I learned? That these truly amazing women in charge of these orphaned children pray for me regularly. I am humbled by this fact. Always donate when you can. Trust me, you will be happier for it!
6. Accept the Fact That Your Adult Children Do Not Want Your Furniture or Possessions
Without a doubt, this is a tough realization for most of us. However, if you listen to most downsizers who have already experienced this lesson, they will tell you the same story. Trying to convince their adult children the value of their china and other possessions is a difficult task. Save yourself and your children from this major potential conflict. The majority of adult children do not value what we value. Have a plan ahead of time and save yourself and your kids from this no-win scenario. And remember, no guilt is allowed!
7. To Live a Less-Stressful Life, Possess Less
My own example is when my clothes closet has not been weeded out. When this happens, getting dressed goes like this: “No, not that, hmmm, maybe, and finally, yes, this will work.” I then have this self-talk, “Seriously Mitzi, get busy and get organized downsizing your own closet!”
This means that every time I’m getting ready to go out, if my closet is not organized and downsized with my own clothes, shoes, jewelry, scarfs, purses, whether it is unconscious or a conscious reality, I experience daily stress that could be avoided. When this happens, I know it’s time to donate and downsize my closet.
8. Acknowledge That Every Single Thing You Own Takes up Real Estate Regardless If It Is Behind Closed Doors or Is on Display
If on display, your items will need maintenance, like cleaning or arranging. If behind all those closed cabinet doors or closet doors, even if they’re not seen, someday you or your loved ones will have to pay the price of going through it all. Ask yourself for any given item you own: is it worth all this effort?
9. Become a Role Model of an Organized, Peaceful Home
Most everyone is trying to accomplish an organized, peaceful, home. If you can do it, your family and friends could be inspired to do the same. One of the favorite compliments I receive is when someone comes into our home and says, “Oh your home is so peaceful.” To me, this translates to a home that has order and distinct space planning, a home that dictates the purpose of each space. Accessories are displayed with a calculated plan, along with a soothing background without too much going on for most people’s visual consumption.
However, for this downsizing blog, the obvious reason I would often receive my favorite compliment lies in the fact that I have carefully avoided that “little stuff disease.” Hopefully, none of you are afflicted with this “disease” of having too many small pieces of furniture or an endless amount of accessories. This in itself is a huge reason to downsize!
10. Experience More Life
Lastly, and perhaps my most important reasoning for making a complete downsize to my new home, is that I desperately want to experience more of life. I am adamant about not being weighed down by my possessions.
When I was doing research for one of my CEUs, (Continuing Education Units), “Marketing and Designing to Millennials to Boomers,” I was struck by an astonishing fact. I learned that both of these demographics actually have tons in common. For example, the majority of Millennials enjoy spending their money on travel, concerts, and being with their friends. This is their biggest priority. Likewise, the Boomers, or the O50s (what I call the over 50) partake in the very same behaviors.
For me, downsizing will enable me to experience life versus collecting more things that will bog me down. Since this is my priority, I will do whatever it takes to keep what I own to a pleasant, personal minimum.
Am I there yet? Oh no, not by a long shot, but I have made huge progress. I absolutely will reach my ultimate goal of living with less as I give my own personal downsizing my best effort.
There is, however, one little thing that I only admit to my inner circle. Here it is–I am a shoe alcoholic! So do not be surprised if you notice what I am wearing at any given event. Why? This is because you will probably notice my shoes for sure. Please give me this one little blemish on my downsizing scorecard and if I should ever go to shoe rehab, I will let you know!
Have you downsized? Share your story and ask questions in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Instagram.
Mitzi Beach A.S.I.D. C.A.P.S. is an award-winning Interior Designer, Author, and 50+ Demographic Marketing & LifestyleSpecialist. Author of the brand new book “Design Smarts, Inspiration for Home + Life.” Mitzi, armed with 30 years experience and a masters degree in interior design, she is one of the Design Hounds Top 100 influencers 2018, selected as a member of the prestigious Style Spotters High Point market in North Carolina, as well as High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour, quoted in The Wall Street Journal as an expert in the emerging Aging in Place (AIP) trend. Along with designers across America, her home is featured in the 2018 “Christmas by Design” book.